“If senior executives wait for the full impact of global forces to manifest themselves at an industry and company level, they will have waited too long.” So writes the McKinsey Quarterly in “Global forces: An Introduction.”
Not too long ago, it was Macy’s and Gimbel’s, within virtual walking distance of one another, slugging it out for the customer’s attention. Now, companies compete across time zones – with more differences than just those seen on clocks -- like political, social, economic, and religious differences.
The McKinsey article points out five trends that companies must pay attention to to stay alive, and thrive, in this type of business world. They are: extensive, emerging market contributions; developing certain economies’ productivity imperatives; interconnectivity of the global grid; pricing of available resources; and maintaining social stability in a globalized world.
In a survey of more than 1,400 company executives, it’s not surprising that what McKinsey calls the great rebalancing – the emerging market contributions – that is the trend which executives consider the most important for their businesses to aware of. 85% said it’s important for business; 48% said it will affect profits; 72% said their companies are pursuing these markets. According to McKinsey, these emerging-market companies will “contribute more growth than the developed ones” in the next few years. The impact: new middle-class consumers, new product designs, value chains, and market infrastructure.
The question is: How can pharma reach customers in parts of the world that are, by U.S. standards, still undeveloped? To their credit, some industry members have allowed royalty-free manufacturing of their retroviral drugs in poor countries, if not outright free distribution. That’s excellent name recognition, but certainly not enough to win lifelong customers.
Industry will need to be more savvy in these new markets, learning the culture while making itself aware of what the competition is doing at the same time. He who naps, loses.
Here’s a thought: Put pictures of the GM, Ford, and Chrysler logos above your computer, along with this story’s lead-off quote. That could help.